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#1963519 - 09/24/12 04:34 AM Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info?  
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Germany
We own a good sounding Baby Grand that was built around 1913. It's about 5' 3" and it has the brand name "Oppenheim Berlin" on its fallboard.

What we know until now is, that there seem to never have been a manufacturer with this name. Who could be the manufacturer of the piano and are there more pianos with this name? I appreciate any info.

The pre owner told me, hat it was bought second hand in Great Britain in 1946. But it is nothing known about its origin.

Characteristic are its twin legs and the capo bar that goes down to the base.

[Linked Image]
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#1963934 - 09/24/12 08:50 PM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Dave B Offline
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Philadelphia area
Was it a reproducer (auto-player)?


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#1964001 - 09/25/12 12:21 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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The case size rules out an internal player mechanism such as Welte, Duo Art or Hupfeld. Ampicos were virtually unknown in Germany at that time. The double legs were not uncommon in England and are found in many German pianos built for the export market.

The piano is almost for certain a stencil piano. Britain was a huge export market for German pianos up until 1914. It probably was not too difficult to "sneak in" a no-name brand to England. Back then, any piano built in Berlin (or labelled as such) had some cachê - everyone knew Bechstein in Berlin.

Last edited by Supply; 09/25/12 07:48 PM.
#1964033 - 09/25/12 02:11 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Germany
Thank you Dave and Jürgen for your answers. It is not a player piano. The Baby Grand has a standard action AD. LEXOW G.m.b.H. Berlin with serial number 542579. With this serial number, I was said, the action is from 1912 / 1913. This is the only hint to the build date of the piano.

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The action has Erard type whippens.
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This is a picture from the damper action.
[Linked Image]

My idea is, that maybe someone can recognize the original manufacturer of the piano from the pictures.

What manufacturers used cast iron plates with full capo bars without agraffes in the bass and middle section?


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#1964467 - 09/25/12 07:57 PM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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While the full capo bar was used by some good manufacturers such as Ronisch (in certain models), it is usually found in cheaply produced entry level pianos. This is one more pointer in the direction of a stencil piano.
I would not obsess too much about the actual origin of the instrument. Even if you find a name, that would probably not tell you much. There is often very little information available on some of the familiar brands; usually even less is known about no-name manufacturers.

It looks like the piano is clean and well kept. Enjoy it for what it is, and let the enigma be just that.

#1964484 - 09/25/12 08:25 PM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Another clue that it is a stencil is that the manufacturer's medallion is screwed onto the plate, rather than being cast into it. Have you been able to read the stamping next to the SN?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#1964574 - 09/26/12 02:10 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Have you been able to read the stamping next to the SN?

Marty, do you mean:
Originally Posted by Upright
... AD. LEXOW G.m.b.H. Berlin with serial number 542579. ...

#1964577 - 09/26/12 02:25 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Thank you for your help, Jürgen. I am not especially obsessed to know the original manufacturer. It won't change anything, if I know it. I am just curious.

We love this Baby Grand. Its condition was not clean nor cared, when we got it. I had a lot of work until it looked and sounded like it does now.

[Linked Image]

I got it very cheap and it developed to be my first restoration job. smile I am just curious what manufacturer put such a nice tone in this stencil piano. If it is a stencil piano, I assume, that this type of piano must have been produced several times. So I hope someone could see some similarities with other pianos.


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#1964579 - 09/26/12 02:43 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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I'm wondering if there is anything under the removable manufacture's medallion? The action looks like a 'compressed' design to fit a smaller overall dimension. The full capo bar would also be a design intended to accommodate a smaller overall dimension.

I'm questioning if the manufacture date might not be in the 1930-1940? The Plate holds the elegant styling and step design of the Schimmel tradition. The Pierce Piano Atlas indicates that Schimmel became part of the manufacturing co-op "Deutsche Piano-Werke AG", which was formed in the late 1920s due to a world wide recession. The co-op was located in Luchenwalde which is very close to Berlin.


"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
#1964586 - 09/26/12 03:12 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Mark R. Offline
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Pretoria, South Africa
Upright,

Have you asked this question in a German piano forum?

Perhaps you might try this one:
http://www.clavio.de/forum/forum.php
Specifically, the following sub-forum:
http://www.clavio.de/forum/klavier-keyboard-kaufen-reparieren/

Herzlichen Gruß,
Mark


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
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1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
#1964592 - 09/26/12 03:29 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Hallo Mark,

yes. Search there for "Oppenheim" and you will find my Thread. smile

As we did not find any more information, I thought it might be usefull to look for information worldwide. Especially as I got to know, that this Baby Grand resided originally in Great Britain and moved to Austria and then to Germany only recently.

@Dave
Unfortunately there is no sign or number or anything under the medallion. Your idea with Schimmel is interesting, as I heard this assumption already once. I have no pictures from Schimmel iron frames with full capo bars to compare, though.

Regards, Upright

Last edited by Upright; 09/26/12 03:31 AM.

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#1964631 - 09/26/12 07:10 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Originally Posted by Upright
yes. Search there for "Oppenheim" and you will find my Thread. smile


Ah, now I realize why your Clavio avatar looked so familiar...

Sorry, I haven't visited that forum for some time, and I missed your thread there.


Autodidact interested in piano technology.
LinkedIn profile
1922 49" Zimmermann, project piano.
1970 44" Ibach, daily music maker.
#1970629 - 10/09/12 02:17 AM Re: Oppenheim Baby Grand - any info? [Re: Upright]  
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Any more ideas about the original manufacturer? Tell me, if you need more specific pictures.

Would be very happy to get some more feedback,
Upright


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